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Forum Moderators: phranque
Before I start, I'd like to give you guys an idea of who I am and what I am capable of. I'm Adam, I'm new here. I have only been using my computer for gaming for the past 5 years. I know my way around hardware stuff and have an above-average understanding of networking as well as troubleshooting Windows. I have made websites with HTML and I claim to have a thorough understanding of HTML and some basics on CSS.
I have only recently begun to understand my plight when I noticed that my peers seem to know ASP, Apache, SQLs, and everything else I happen to not know while I was busy gaming and wasting 5 years of my life. Back then, I was like their mentor with HTML and hardware stuff and now I seem find myself too embarassed to ask for help in real life. So I turn to books and Online help for a means to get myself acquainted back on par with how programming and webmastering... Hopefully some of you good people here would find the time to help me and answer some questions during my stay here. :)
So thats the situation. Also, please refrain from using deep techy lingo and abbreviations unless you explain what that is...
So what exactly do I need help with? Well for one thing I have recently downloaded PHP, Apache, And MySQL. From what I know PHP is a server-side transaction language that helps ease up traffic? Apache is a server... and MySQL is a database maker. And during my installation of Apache, it looked for a domain name, from what I know, I'm supposed to have a domain name that I actually payed for from, lets say no-ip.com? Since I'm still learning, I figured I could have all of this installed on my system wtihout a domain name so I can start learning PHP first.
Any idea on what I should do?
Sites that could point me to the right direction?
Email exchange buddy?
You will learn plenty by poking around under the hood of Wordpress, or Drupal, or any of the others. Just Google "open source CMS" and you will get 10,000,000 results.
Besides, I'm already having trouble recognizing if I have installed PHP and Apache at the moment, learning how to do the rest comes after this little stone in my path. I'd appreciate it if you could help me with the question before. Is there a way to install all of these without having a domain name and server name which I would later might get. My reason for installing these is for learning purposes and not simply because I want to have a website.
If you get yourself a mac running leopard (which will run on used macs from 5 years ago.) you have php5 and apache pre installed. MySql is an extra download, but there are lots of good tools for installation.
Anyway, I like Larry Ulman's book on PHP-mySQL, I think he does a good job of getting you up to speed. Wrox Books has a very good book by five different authors called PHP5, mySQL and Web development is also a good resource.
I can't say enough nice things about CSS the missing manual.
Also Firefox has been a big help as a web browser, as there are plug in tools that you can add on that do lots of really helpful things, among other things validate the HTML code. HTML is pretty forgiving, but only within limits, and when things break, they break really badly, and the Firefox validation tools are really good for a beginner like us. Firebug is also really great. You can step through the CSS with it and see how the CSS code interacts with itself.
I'd always recommend to start that way, looking at a finished product like wordpress will be an overdose for a beginner, and you need some experience with common concepts to profit from things like that.
to answer your question: yes, you don't need a domain to work with php and apache.
just install apache on your local machine and add php (should be easy enough), or download xampp, which is preconfigures with apache, php, mysql and perl and should "just work".
fire up your browser and go to [127.0.0.1...] to access your local installation. find the htdocs (that's the directory where all the files live that apache can serve to your browser) and throw in a file that ends in .php, let's say test.php, that contains
<? phpinfo(); ?>
back to the browser, navigate to [127.0.0.1...] and you should see alot of information.
now you can start to work with php. if you feel save around html-forms and how to work with the data entered in a php-script, add mysql-functionality. just check back here when you're ready.